New regular feature! Editor Phil Moore takes you through ten new releases worthy of your time. There’s a Spotify playlist below too; enjoy it and don’t forget to ‘follow’ it!
Jarvis Cocker ‘House Music All Night Long’
The return of Jarvis [or should that be ‘Jarv Is…’, his new moniker], this is the second single to be taken from his new, long-awaited album, Beyond the Pale [Sept 4]. It’s actually great; it still has all the breathy and nocturnal vibes of vintage Jarvis, but injected with a new nervous energy which his hot-shot band bring to the table. Led by a trill synth line [probably knocked up on an old Casio] and a primitive chorus, it succeeds where others similarly fail – probably down to the bucket-load of charm Cocker brings to proceedings.
Do Nothing ‘New Life’
From their new ‘Zero Dollar Bill’ EP, the Nottingham quartet has a singer that croons a verse like Kevin Rowland and then yells like Mark E Smith in the choruses. The inventive post-punk backing all ‘Fits’ in, creating a world of pulsating, merry weirdness. The EP has 2019 banger ‘Lebron James’ on it too. These lot might be the most exciting band of 2020; yes, really.
Garden ‘Sad Smile’
The Garden story is good ‘un. They emerged from Northampton in 2017 and quietly went about their ace business. Yet with horses definitively not scared, they disappeared for all of 2019, and with a slight line-up change emerged into the blinking light of 2020 promising a new single EVERY MONTH. The first one, ‘Love Me To Death’, was then played on Radio 1 by both Phil Taggart and Annie Mac, propelling them forward quicker than anticipated. This third release continues with their slow-building jam plan; a sleepy verse erupting into the goosebump-inducing chorus. Garden do a lot with very little wizardry, the hearts-worn-on-sleeves outlook and stellar melodies should mean this story will roll on and on. Bring the popcorn.
Anna Mae Kelly ‘I Want You To Be Here’
Hit the new artist klaxon! 17 year-old Kettering singer-songwriter has been building to this debut single moment after five years of bedroom practice. This Made-In-Sheffield song is unashamedly pop music for a wide audience, the endorphin rush piano-house backing keeps everything glued together and keeps the focus on that captivating voice. Don’t forget that name, we will be championing it regularly from now on.
Hit the reinvention klaxon! Life developments has led Jay Brown – Northampton-born, former resident of London and Paris, and now back in the Shire – to create a new project that prioritises the search for personal truths accompanied by some nifty beats. The cascading, moody electronic motifs and wonderfully-layered vocals makes this alt-pop number an absolute winner. As both Bob Dylan and Reggie Perrin can attest, sometimes starting over is the best thing you can do. Get excited for more from this member of the famous Brown family.
King Purple ‘Twisted World’
Winners of our ‘Best Single 2019’ award for ‘Warning Signs’, this needed to be a strong follow-up. Thankfully it is. Recorded in Wolverhampton, ‘Twisted World’ is another slow-burning stoner-rock winner from the Corby quartet, with that clean, reverberating guitar sound that makes you openly weep with joy. “The elegance and beauty we see”, sings Callum Connachie. Amen to that.
Cousin Avi ‘No Plan’
Another infectious party-starter from the Northampton/London five-piece, and an ode to being a bit of a loser with no money [we can relate]. It’s a huge production number, a stone-solid funk-pop mover with a snappy chorus. Really they are the top boys at this sort of bludgeoning dancefloor thing. When the covid-19 shit-show is over make haste to one of their live shows.
Jimmy & The Moonlights ‘Modus Operandi [Forever 21]’
The “side-project” of Jordan Noon, this is the fantasy band that is giving life to his home recording projects. This fifth track of the last few months is the most noodly/Radioheady thing so far, and makes a warm and refreshing change from the usual harder fuzz-psych we’re become accustomed to. Now that his “old” band Parliaments are on the comeback trail [rejoice!!], we might not get much more of these studio beauties, so hold them close whilst you can.
Spring Park ‘In My Head’
Northampton’s premier punks never fail to disappoint with their live show, and their recorded output is under-rated. This pop-punker is perkier than a shaken can of jumping beans, and if you aren’t singing along to the chorus by the second time around I do worry for you. “Lifeless”? Nah, life-affirming.
Joel Harries ‘Bore’
The multi-directional Harries is always working on something, and his solo thing has come back with a bang this past year. This second of his recent EPs is another beautiful example of his conjuring abilities; his softly-hypnotic voice and an array of studio gadgetry helping to create immersive sonic landscapes that constantly reveal new sounds on each listen. You like Bon Iver and Thom Yorke? Load up on this then.